THE The Human and the Non-Human in Ze života hmyzu by the Brothers Čapek: Contexts, Scheme, Interpretation

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Klára Kudlová


The study „The mutual engagement of human and insect sphere in Čapeks´ most-played drama“ attempts at a contextual perspective on the human and natural spheres of Čapeks celebrated „insect play“ (Ze života hmyzu). Summing up the potential thematic and structural influences on the play (such as L´Oiseau Bleu), the study uncovers the structure of the play (the mise-en-abyme and circular composition) and proves it to be one of the key interpretative tools for its understanding. The other analytical tools are derived from detailed evaluation of the figure of the Tramp (a universal human figure) and of the individual insect groups (types). In the final search for the core dynamics and the message of the play, the influence and legacy of Jean-Henri Fabre is recalled, alongside the authors´ own perspective.


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Kudlová, K. (2021). THE The Human and the Non-Human in Ze života hmyzu by the Brothers Čapek: Contexts, Scheme, Interpretation. Porównania, 29(2), 149-166.
Author Biography

Klára Kudlová, Univerzita Karlova

Klára Kudlová is assistant professor at CTF CU, Prague. She studied English, American and Czech philology at PF CU in Prague (Ph.D. 2011). Since 2006, she works in the Department for Research into 20th Century and Contemporary Literature at the ICL CAS and specialises in contemporary Czech prose and drama. Since 2019,she lectures at the Department of Ecclesiastical History and Literary History of CTF CU. She contributed to monographs on contemporary Czech literature (e.g. Rozpad Rakouska-Uherska a jeho důsledky pro literatury a kultury střední Evropy, 2019; V souřadnicích mnohosti. Česká literatura první dekády 21. století v souvislostech a interpretacích, 2014). She has published her studies in magazines such as Theatralia, World Literature Studies, Porównania. The author thanks The Archive of the National Theatre in Prague for permission to use visual images.

E-mail:,; ORCID: 0000–0003–2253–6888


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